Let’s Do Lunch!

I’m someone who absolutely loves exploring a city through food, and from day one this semester I’ve been on the hunt for my new favorite spot. Lunch is the perfect meal to enjoy with a friend, with many friends, or on a self-date, so I’ve included here some of the best places I’ve found to do lunch all over the city!

The Place: Federal Café
Where: Ópera
Why go?: This place is a classy coffee-shop/café that serves amazing lunches (and brunches as well!) I took a friend who was visiting Madrid for the first time, and we shared a bunch of yummy plates, so this place definitely gets bonus points for being share-able. We ordered kale salad with salmon, seeds, and sprouts, zucchini fritters, and fried halloumi cheese with the most amazing honey and rosemary dipping sauce. Even though we hadn’t seen each other in two months, half of our conversation was about how amazing the food was.

The Place: Keyaans Empanadas
Where: Argüelles
Why go?: If you want to leave full and happy, this is definitely the place to go! Keyaans has tons of super amazing (and super cheap!) empanadas that are 25% off for students on Tuesdays. Any empanada you can imagine they have: chicken, veggie, pizza, cheese, sausage, and even dessert flavors are all available. The empanadas come out hot and are made on site – I was in heaven the entire time I was there.

The Place: La Hummuseria
Where: Chueca
Why go?: This place has an amazing Menú del Día, which offers three amazing courses. One of the courses is a vegetable tapa, which for me was roasted carrots with spices that were so incredible yummy. Another course is a hummus bowl of your choice that comes with hot (and so fluffy!) pita bread for the table. Mine had roasted mushrooms and left me too stuffed for dessert. However, even though I opted for the coffee, one of my friends had an amazing chocolate banana cake and another had a beautiful candied nut/fruit board. I left full to the brim but counting down the hours until I would be hungry again so that I could go back!

The Place: Lolina
Where: Malasaña
Why go?: This retro-themed café has such a cute vibe that will make you feel like you’re in vintage American living room in the middle of Madrid! They have plenty of cocktails if you’re feeling bold and a ton of open-faced toast sandwiches and pastries. I’d most recommend the cheese appetizer, which was basically an entire bowl of beautifully melted cheese with salmorejo, a Spanish tomato dish, and mushrooms. It came with bread for dipping, and when you lifted the bread out of the bowl, a huge line of cheese would follow. It’s a cheese-lover’s dream, and cheese is certainly one of my favorite things.

The Place: Abolea
Where: Bilbao
Why go?: If I’m being perfectly honest, all of the jamón and cheese and bread can be a little bit heavy at times and leaves me craving some healthier munchies at times. This place is the perfect option for those of us who want a little bit of roasted veggies in their lives. It offers a wide range of veggie and rice bowls with protein options that range from chicken to tofu to salmon to falafel and beyond. For those of us who aren’t into the veggie bowl trend, they also offer roasted veggie egg scrambles, yummy soups, and open-faced toasts. I left feeling like my body was a temple and wondering why I hadn’t found it sooner!

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